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Can you relieve dry eye with diet?

If your eyes are constantly irritated, itchy, red, or painful, you might have dry eye syndrome....
If your eyes are constantly irritated, itchy, red, or painful, you might have dry eye syndrome. Eye drops are one treatment option, but what you eat could also help or hurt your eyes.(WNDU)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:20 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) - Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough tears or the tears don’t lubricate your eyes well enough. It affects roughly 16 million Americans. Now research is showing the right diet could improve symptoms of dry eye.

If your eyes are constantly irritated, itchy, red, or painful, you might have dry eye syndrome. Eye drops are one treatment option, but what you eat could also help or hurt your eyes.

“There is definitely a correlation between a bad inflammatory diet and worsening of the dry eye, so things that are inflammatory. So dairy is inflammatory. Meats are inflammatory. Eggs are inflammatory,” explained Rolando Toyos, MD, Founder & CEO of Toyos Clinic.

Dr. Toyos also says to avoid processed foods whenever possible. What should you eat? Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and dry eye symptoms. They’re found in fish like trout, salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

“If they aren’t a fish eater, we’ll have them start an omega-3 supplement,” Dr. Toyos said.

Vitamin C has also been shown to protect the eyes from pollution and improve tear production. It’s abundant in broccoli, brussel sprouts, and citrus fruits.

Vitamin E, found in sunflower oil, almonds, pumpkin, and spinach, helps protect the retina from injury and supports the maintenance of the tear film layer in the eye.

Vitamin A, which is found in carrots, squash, and tuna, may also help reduce dry eye symptoms and improve tear quality. And recent research shows caffeine in drinks like coffee, black tea, and green tea, may stimulate tear production.

Studies also show that a vitamin D deficiency may be linked to worse dry eye symptoms. The best way to get vitamin D is to spend ten to 15 minutes in the sun each day. It’s important to note that food isn’t a replacement for other medical therapies that your doctor prescribes.

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